The Do-it-Yourself Online Presidential
Are you courageous enough? Are you smart enough? Are you decisive
enough to be the President of the United States?
March 7, 2006
by Mark W. Bradley
Say, kids, how many times has this happened to you?
It's noon on a Tuesday, and you're sitting at home playing "Grand
Theft Auto" on your PlayStation 2. You're just about to throw
some more popcorn at your pie-hole when all of a sudden the phone
rings, and it's your P.O. telling you, "Hurry, man, turn on Channel
24, your Mom's ex-boyfriend Rodney is on Jerry Springer again!"
So you pull the remote out of a groady pile of string cheese and
barfed-up dog hair and start channel-surfing past all those totally
bogus news stations, 'cause, you know, you're kinda curious to see
what effect all those hormone injections are having on Rodney's
ability to swing a folding chair.
But you end up stopping on this one channel, 'cause there's this
blonde chick on the screen and she's grinning at you with lips so
full of collagen they look like the stuffed crust on a Pizza Hut
family size. And behind her on the screen is all this flaming shit
blowing up in Irania or Egyptostan or one of those mid-western countries,
and there's these totally mental guys hopping up and down in sweaty
pajamas, waving AK's over their heads and yodeling and running around
in front of this burning tank.
But in about three seconds that show's over, and now the babe is
talking about how that monkey-lookin' dude, you know, that president
guy - Bush or whatever - is going to India or someplace and he's
gonna tell 'em all about civilization and stuff. I mean, the guy
doesn't even have a regular comedy show like Chappelle or whatever,
he just comes on TV at different times, but dude, when he is on,
he's funnier than "Crank Yankers"! Like this one time he pretended
to bump his head getting out of a helicopter (which was totally
funny) and this other time he was doing these totally outrageous
bike tricks like the guys on "Jackass."
But even when he's just talking, man, he's a complete crackup!
He's always coming up with these amazingly hilarious stories about
guys flying desks out of airports, people dumping food all over
their families, and doctors bonking their patients. So you're like
watching this crazy dude, when all of a sudden it hits you: "Hey,
man, I can do shit like that! How come I'm not the president?"
Well, the surprising answer is, with a little help from the Karl
Rove Institute for Educational Guidance (KRIEG), you could
be the president!
Sure you only make it to school a couple of days a month and you
haven't quite figured out your multiplication tables yet, and maybe
you're not really sure what continent Australia's in, but so what?
Should that prevent you from being considered for the most critically
important job in the world? Of course not! And if you don't believe
us, just take a look at a few of the FAQ's we get here at KRIEG:
Q: I've been turned down for a lot of jobs in the past. My
uncle says I'm pretty much unemployable. Why would the Diebold Company
want to hire me to be the president?
A: Our specially trained team of advisors here at KRIEG
is always on the lookout for presidential talent, no matter how
deeply hidden it may reside within your inner psyche. You may feel
you have not yet reached your full potential, but trust us; we've
started with raw material a lot less promising than you!
Q: I was absent the year we studied government in high school,
but my friends tell me I have to be 60-years-old or something before
I can be the president. Is that true?
A: Actually, the required age is 35, but I wouldn't worry
too much about that if I were you. Since most KRIEG advisers already
work in the government (some are actually Senators and Congressmen),
getting rules like that changed is not much of a problem anymore.
Our experienced team of experts is working together to expand democracy
into even the darkest corners of the globe. And if any part of the
Constitution stands in the way of that goal, well, we'll just have
to get rid of it, won't we?
Q: I was reading your online brochure and it says that presidents
have to be able to read words off a teleprompter with 90% accuracy.
I've tried this at home, and the best I've been able to do is 78%.
Does this mean I don't qualify as a presidential candidate?
A: Not at all. The 90% goal is a target, nothing more.
Besides, if you already read words with an accuracy rate in the
high seventies, our trainers should be able to get you up to speed
in about six months. And if all else fails, we can always hook you
up with a wireless remote receiver. Thanks to the latest advances
in micro-circuitry, these miraculous gadgets are no more noticeable
than a 12-oz. can of Pepsi duct-taped to the back of your suit coat.
Q: Don't presidents have to know a lot about current events
to be able to make tough decisions? Won't my limited education be
a handicap in this regard?
A: Frankly, as a prerequisite to serving as Commander-in-Chief
of the most overwhelmingly lethal military force the world has ever
known, "knowledge" per se (like innate intelligence) is vastly overrated.
Will you, on occasion, be routinely called upon to make snap judgments
about complex and dangerous issues based on the flimsiest of evidence,
with the lives of billions of people hanging in the balance? Of
course. Will decisions you make likely affect the very survival
of the human species on planet earth? Probably. But before you get
all overwhelmed by the awesome responsibility, remember, it's just
a job! If it doesn't work out, your dad can always get you another
Besides, we here at KRIEG believe you'll be pleasantly surprised
to discover just how much aptitude you have for the job of President
of the United States. And just to prove it, we've prepared a couple
of sample questions from our Presidential Leadership Quiz.
Don't do well on tests? Not a problem! In order to simulate actual
White House conditions, we've designed the test around a series
of simple binary-choice questions. This is because (as our current
president understands intuitively) all of life's problems, even
the most complicated, can be effectively reduced down to two possible
solutions: one "right," the other "wrong."
And remember, binary-choice questions have a built-in advantage
for people who like to guess at the truth. In a multiple choice
format, the guesser has only a 25% chance of getting the answer
correct. In a binary-choice format, that chance is doubled. So,
in all cases, you are (theoretically) as likely to be right as you
are to be wrong! Are you ready? Here goes:
1. Your Vice-president casually informs you, over lunch,
that he was mistaken big-time when he told you last week that
a certain militarily-hobbled Third World dictator (who used
to be chummy with your dad) was nothing but a sad impotent clown
not worthy of your attention. In a startling reversal, he now
proceeds to tell you that, within the past 72 hours, massive
and irrefutable evidence has emerged that proves, beyond a shadow
of a doubt, that the megalomaniacal mastermind (no, not him,
the foreign one) has compiled enough deadly biological, chemical
and nuclear weapons to obliterate the entire Milky Way Galaxy
several times over. Even more alarmingly, in two weeks time
he plans to deploy a stealth fleet of hypersonic balsa-wood
spacecraft capable of reaching the moons of Alpha Centauri in
less than seven minutes (or the Pentagon's top-secret Cosmic
Alpha-wave Eradication Complex in Warren County, Ohio, in a
little over three). In the face of this perplexing dilemma,
A. Prevent the brutal dictator from implementing his diabolical
plan by launching a massive and indiscriminant attack against
the civilian population of his hapless country, using cruise
missiles, 10 ton "daisy cutter" bombs and M1A1 tanks armed
with depleted uranium shells to kill or maim about a half-million
or so innocent bystanders. That'll teach the evil bastard to
mess with the United States of America, by God, or...
B. Turn the sovereignty of the United States over to the United
Nations. That's right, do nothing, while the French and the
Germans and the rest of those chickenshit atheist foreign hordes
of cannibalistic evildoers form an unholy alliance with the
homosexual Hollywood liberal elite to destroy the Christian
fabric of American democracy.
(Take a full 30 seconds to answer).
OK, time's up. What did you decide?
If you guessed answer "A", you were right!
Here's another one:
2. Three years have passed since you correctly chose to
invade the above country. As a result of that wise decision,
a gazillion people are now either dead or mortally wounded,
and the country itself has been reduced to a vast amorphous
sea of radioactive rubble. Somewhat surprisingly, your occupying
army has been unable to find any trace of biological, chemical
or nuclear weapons of mass destruction (other than the ones
they brought with them, of course). Even more inexplicably,
the top-secret hypersonic balsa-wood attack spacecraft your
Vice-president warned you about are nowhere in sight (perhaps
they're already concealed behind the moons of Alpha Centauri,
waiting for the secret signal to attack the Pentagon's Alpha
Wave Eradication Complex in Warren County). Meanwhile, the aforementioned
disgruntled survivors crawling aimlessly through the ashes of
what was once their rather prosperous country have decided in
their despair to choose up sides, arm themselves to the teeth,
and do their damnedest to kill each other before they all die
of depleted uranium poisoning anyway. To complicate your problems,
the Department of Homeland Security has somehow misplaced the
entire population of a major American city while you were sleeping
off a particularly disorienting bender, and your presidential
approval ratings (even the ones from CNN) are poised to fall
through the floor into single digits. You should immediately:
A. Demand that your vice-president and the entire Cabinet resign
post-haste; forge a bi-partisan coalition in the Congress and
set them to work passing emergency relief legislation aimed
at alleviating the suffering of displaced persons within the
United States; order the Pentagon to draft a detailed plan for
the immediate phased-withdrawal of our armed forces from the
strife-torn country in question, and offer a long-overdue apology
to the people of the world, or
B. Go back to sleep.
(This one's a no-brainer; 15 seconds is all you get.)
Alright, what's the correct answer?
The correct answer is "B." Remember, whatever you try to do to
fix the situation at this point will most likely only exacerbate
(that means screw up) the whole mess. So relax, try not to stress
out, get plenty of exercise, call your Mom, and make sure to eat
a healthy, balanced diet.
A thousand years from now, who's gonna care about any of this stuff
Mark W. Bradley is a schoolteacher and political satirist in
Sacramento, California. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.